Merchandise & Marketing: Trimmers
Whether the power source is battery or gas engine, trimmers on the market today sell themselves through ease of use, ergonomics, convenience and — of course — performance.
For instance, the new Husqvarna 122C shown here is promoted by the manufacturer as a powerful gas-powered trimmer loaded with user-friendly features. A low-noise engine is doctored with Smart Start technology for minimum-effort starts. And a Tap ‘n Go trimmer head allows for easy adjustment of the trimmer cord.
The product weighs in at 9.7 lbs.
Price point: $159.95
• LITHIUM-POWERED FOR MEDIUM DUTY
The Ryobi 24-Volt Cordless Trimmer/Edger is a lithium-ion battery-powered tool “designed to handle medium-duty jobs with ease.” Users can decide themselves: broader cut strokes or longer run time, and adjust the 11-in. to 13-in. cut swath accordingly.
Price point: $149, Ryobitools.com
• START YOUR ENGINES
Craftsman’s 2-cycle WeedWacker Straight Shaft Gas Trimmer promotes an easy, two-step starting process — and even offers a Speed Start Technology push-button option. It offers extended reach and an 8-in-1 yard-tool attachment for added convenience.
Retail price point: $159.99
• KEEPING IT GREEN
Fresh from its unveiling at the National Hardware Show’s New Product World, the GreenWorks 40V String Trimmer/edger claims gas power, without the hassle. It converts to a walk-behind edger and weighs in at 5.62 lbs.
Price point: $200, Greenworkstools.com
• GETTING THROUGH THE ROUGH PATCH
DR Power Equipment offers a new attachment for its DR Trimmer/Mower – DuraBlades. Users can quickly replace the trimming cord for these tough, metal blades when they need the extra performance, in light brush or brambles, for instance.
Retail price point: About $40 for the kit
Trimmers, by the numbers
From May 2011 through April 2012, dollar volume of trimmer sales increased 8.9% to around $845 million, compared with a relatively weak prior-year period, according to consumer research from The NPD Group, based in Port Washington, N.Y. According to the channel breakdown, hardware stores and home centers appear to be gaining at the expense of mass retailers and department stores.
The Midwest and West are steadily increasing their share of the market, but it is still a product that thrives best in the South. Consumers in the $45K to $75K income level appear to have regained their share of trimmer purchases, while men are significantly increasing theirs.
Price is the leading motivator when consumers decide where to shop for their trimmer. When selecting the actual trimmer, trusted brand runs neck-and-neck with price. Consumer rating and other recommendation-based factors appear to be growing in significance.
Methodology: NPD data are based on monthly tracking of more than 30 home improvement-related categories and 30,000 opt-in consumers.
*2012 data reflects the period May 2011 through April 2012.
**Key: WHC: warehouse home center; MM: mass merchant; DS: department store; SS: specialty store; HS: hardware store
*** More than one answer accepted
Celebrating a home niche
New York — Home improvement retailers are embracing the houseware category, and they’re finding success, according to the International Housewares Association, host of a recent Hot Housewares for the Holidays event held here. New products ranged from the colorful to the eco-friendly, and they’re finding their way into hardware stores, if they’re not already there. The following housewares are expected to generate interest this year across channels.
Purelast Measuring Spoon and Cups
Purelast measuring spoons and cups are made from 80% natural materials, such as rice hull, ground bamboo and sesame oil. Both sets are available in red, blue, yellow, natural and green.
Energizer iSurge Charging Station
This new surger features three surge-protected AC outlets, One Amp USB Charging Port and an Apple-certified 30 pin charging dock. It can power up to five devices at once. In addition, the wall plug rotates 180 degrees. The station also includes a built-in night-light and on/off switch.
Racor Ladder Lift
The Racor Ladder Lift is an easy way to safely store a ladder overhead, freeing up garage space. The user can lift and lower a 150-lb. ladder up to 12 ft. It uses a rope-and-pulley system with a fixed hook that is mounted in the ceiling; this makes an 80-lb. ladder feel like 10 lbs. The Ladder Lift also features a locking mechanism that holds the rope in place to prevent accidental release.
Guy Fieri Cookware
Lifetime Brands, lifetimebrands.com
Lifetime Brands and Food Network celeb Guy Fieri have developed a variety of cookware for the holidays. The decorative aluminum nonstick skillets feature artwork from Fieri’s own personal tattoo artist Joe Leonard; there are five available designs. Also included in the collection are: stainless steel fry pans, hard anodized fry pans, porcelain enamel cast iron and lightweight cast iron fry pans, and dutch ovens.
Maytag Premium Irons
The iron’s heating technology allows the user to start ironing in less than a minute and regenerating steam bursts in less than three seconds. The precision-adjustable thermostat delivers the right temperature for the fabric being ironed. Other features include a removable water tank, variable steam control and extra-long power cord.
Fire Wire Flexible Grilling Skewers
This flexible grilling skewer can be loaded with food, coiled up and placed in a bowl or bag to marinate. Once the Fire Wire is placed on the grill, the pointed end hangs off the edge and stays cool to the touch. No need for tools or tongs — the griller can grab the cool end and flip it to ensure both sides of the food are evenly cooked.
Spice Ratchet Mills, spiceratchet.com
Blossom, the silicone, flower-shaped kitchen gadget, can be used as a trivet, coaster, hot mitt, hot pad and more. Stacking two or more inside of or on top of one another creates a mat for a vase or centerpiece. It is available in black, red, flame orange and kiwi green. In addition, it contracts and stacks for easy storage.
Primula Flavor It Beverage System
Epoca International, epoca.com
This 3-in-1 beverage system brews and infuses hot and cold drinks. The 2.9-liter pitcher features a Tea Infuser, Fruit Infuser and Ice Core, which keeps beverages cool without diluting them with ice. The pitcher is made with BPA-free material, which is odor-, taste- and stain-resistant. The no-spill locking lid allows the pitcher to be stored upright or on its side.
Schmidt Brothers Cutlery
Hudson Home Group, schmidtbrotherscutlery.com
Made with 100% German stainless steel, this cutlery features its patented Schmidt Brothers Curve for balance and safety. The lightweight Titan 22, 15-piece set is titanium-coated and has an ergonomic soft-grip handle. The Downtown Block features a wood design, acrylic protection covers, double-sided magnets and display, and universal knife storage of up to 16 knives.